VIOREL BARBU is a mathematician, a professor with the “Al.I. Cuza” University of Iași and a member of the Romanian Academy. His scientific work is in the ﬁeld of differential equations and mathematical control theory. He has published more than 150 original papers in these fields, in international mathematical journals, and 10 monographs with Springer, Academic Press, Kluwer and other European publishing houses.
Solomon Marcus – the Universal Scientist
Solomon Marcus was a leading mathematician in the field of real analysis, mathematical logic, and the theory of formal languages, but also a leading figure of Romanian contemporary culture. He was not only a scientist, but also a humanist, and a large part of his work was devoted to creating a bridge between these two cultures.
MATEI BELDIMAN is an architect, born 14 July 1944, in Dragomireştii din Vale, Ilfov county, Romania. Since 1973, he has been living and working in France. Author of poetry. Close to the oneiric Romanian poet Daniel Turcea. The present poem was written in the night of 30 June 2017 – 1 July 2017, Ruxanda Beldiman’s burial day. Matei is a brother of architect Alexandru Beldiman’s, Ruxanda’s father.
Ruxanda Beldiman (1973-2017), a Chronology
Ruxanda Beldiman was an art historian, graduated from the National University of Arts in Bucharest, the Department of History and Theory of Arts. She began her career at the Peleş Castle National Museum. She continued her research work at the “G. Oprescu” History of Art Institute of the Romanian Academy. She obtained her Doctor’s degree in 2008, in Bucharest, with a sound and updated work on “The Peleş Castle, a German influenced expression of the historicist phenomenon”. She remained interested in the arts and architecture of the 19th century, namely the boyar residences in Moldavia and Wallachia, a field of research not really investigated in the previous years. The results of her investigations were published in various specialized magazines such as Revue Roumaine d’Histoire de l’Art, Studii şi cercetări de Istoria Artei, Monumentul. She was the author of Ion Ghica’s manor house in Ghergani (2016) and a co-author of various articles. She died at an early age, but managed to raise the interest in this field of investigation.
Two excerpts from Ruxanda Beldiman’s study of the Peleş Castle were selected as being a major contribution of hers – the second chapter, Romanticism, Historicism, Eclecticism, and part of the suxth, The influence of 19th century German manors on the architecture of the Romanian Peleş Castle. In the former excerpt, the author compares the various meanings of this stylistic terminology in recent bibliographical references (Heinz Biehn, Klaus Eggert, François Loyer, Claude Mignot etc.). Art and architecture historians give various uses to the terms – according to the country they are referring to, to the nation, to cultural areas – in their analysis of 19th century architecture. This variety of points of view is also present in the richness of styles one can witness when visiting the Peleş Castle. In the latter excerpt, we are kindly advised to take into account the Romanian King’s strong personality. The comparison with the Babelsberg Castle, the residence of Wilhelm of Prussia; the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen Castle; the Osborne House (property of Albert of Saxa-Coburg-Gotha); archduke Ferdinand Maximilian’s summer palace in Miramare; the Bulgarian tzar Ferdinand’s summer residence in Euxinograd, a.s.o.
CRISTIAN S. CALUDE (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristian_S._Calude), is a mathematician and computer scientist working in theoretical computer science and quantum physics. He holds a personal chair at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
A Passion for the Romanian Language
Solomon Marcus’ personal and professional life was dominated by an unremitting passion for the Romanian language. In this personal evocation, we see Marcus moving, speaking, thinking, mentoring students, living in and through mathematics, confronting Police for vandalizing Romanian grammar and orthography, losing himself in reading to the point of forgetting the imperative goals of the moment.
Mariana Celac is a graduate of the University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest. She took advanced studies at the Today University in Tokyo, Japan. She works as an architect, an urban developer, and a contributor to numerous Romanian and foreign publications in the field. She teaches at the Bucharest “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism.
My Encounters with Ruxanda Beldiman
A reminiscence of the author’s acquaintance with her younger colleague in the fields of architecture and of the history of art and a depiction of the childhood and professional formation of the much too soon departed daughter of architect Alexandru Beldiman and art professor Ioana Beldiman.
MIHAIL M. CERNEA, sociologist and anthropologist, is Member of Romanian Academy, and Research Professor at George Washington University, USA. After leading (1962-1974) the Social Research section of Romanian Academy’s Institute of Philosophy, Cernea reestablished in USA, working as ‘Senior Adviser of the World Bank on Social Policies and Sociology’. Cernea wrote pioneering World Bank public social policies, replicated internationally by many governments and agencies, highly impactful worldwide for reducing poverty and preventing new impoverishment from forced population displacements.
Solomon Marcus and the Sociology of Science
This essay identifies within the work of Marcus a major strain of thinking and writings that belong to the sociology of science, but haven’t been yet recognized distinctly as such. The article points to key constitutive parts and issues of the sociology of science that Marcus treated: patterns of scientists’ interaction; science and the state; originality, filiation, and plagiarism; dissemination of science-knowledge via public education systems. The essay argues that this distinct corpus of ideas that Marcus articulated and scattered in various writings, must be researched, integrated, and systematized, in order to accelerate their implementation. This is a grand and promising task, that should lead to PhD theses and bodies of exegesis by the young generation of sociologists and historians.
RUXANDRA DEMETRESCU (b. 1954), is an art historian, a professor of art history and theory at the Department of Doctoral Studies of the National University of Arts in Bucharest, Romania. She was the Rector of the National University of Arts in Bucharest (2006-2012) and the ﬁrst Director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Berlin, Germany (1999-2003). She has specialized in the history of art theories in German-speaking spaces (Konrad Fiedler, Alois Riegl, Aby Warburg, Walter Benjamin) and in the Romanian interwar artistic modernity. She has published a great many critical texts in Romanian contemporary visual artists’ exhibition catalogues.
I propose a retrospective re-reading of Ruxanda Beldiman’s intellectual biography, in order to highlight her remarkable position as an art historian, who decisively left an imprint on the Romanian art historiography of the last two decades. I have chosen to analyze her volume about the Peleș Castle (published in 2012 by Simetria), which I consider the author’s magnum opus. The study puts forward an exceptional analysis of Occidentalization and monarchism, both instruments of the political and cultural institutional development in modern Romania.
LIVIU P. DINU is a professor at the University of Bucharest, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and a director of the Human Language Technologies Research Center. Solomon Marcus was his PhD supervisor (in 2003), and in 2014 he defended his habilitation thesis entitled “Similarity and decision problems in Computational Linguistics”. In 2005 he received the “In Hoc Signo Vinces” Prize (Magna cum Laude), for research and publications awarded by the National Research Council for Higher Education and in 2007 the “Grigore C. Moisil” Prize awarded by the Romanian Academy (for 2005). He published two books, four chapters in books, and over 100 scientific papers.
What is attempted here is to get closer to one of Solomon Marcus’s main qualities, namely the openness to dialogue, which was a “modus vivendi” for him. This fundamental trait is being followed through his encounters with various interlocutors, through his travels, his continuous inclination to education and to various branches of science and culture, plus the relationships between them.
Stylistic Imprint (with Bogdan Dumitru)
In this article, we propose a stylistic analysis of Solomon Marcus’ article-writing, gathered in six volumes aiming to uncover some of his quantitative and qualitative imprints. Moreover, we compare and cluster two distinct periods in his writing style: twenty-two years of communist regime (1967-1989) and twenty-seven years of democracy (1990-2016). The distributional analysis of Marcus’ text reveals that the passing from the communist regime period to democracy was sharply marked by two complementary changes in his’ writing: in the pre-democracy period, the communist norms of writing style demanded, on the one hand, long phrases, long words and clichés, while, on the other hand, a short list of preferred “official” topics; in democracy, the tendency was towards shorter phrases and words, while approaching a broader area of topics. The clustering approach based on the preference of the author regarding the functional words shows that these were unconsciously used by the author in a diﬀerent way in communism than in democracy period, and they can be used to discriminate between the communist and post-communist written texts of a given author.
MIHAI DINU is Emeritus Professor, engineer and writer.
The Absolute Teacher
The author, a disciple of Solomon Marcus, aimed at synthesizing some of the most important traits of the man and scholar whose friendship he was privileged to enjoy for half a century. A ubiquitous presence in the spheres of culture and science, the Professor had become a proper national institution and an unavoidable point of reference for specialists from a multitude of fields, such as mathematics, linguistics, semiotics, informatics, literary theory and criticism, aesthetics, the history and philosophy of science. Out of his countless scientific contributions, we have chosen to focus on his research about the mutual relationship between mathematics and poetry. In his quest for the common essence uniting all of the human spirit’s major achievements, Professor Marcus joined the ranks of the great philosophers who strived to explain, over the ages, the whole reality by means of universal principles.
SANDA GOLOPENȚIA is a Professor Emerita at Brown University. She has written on linguistics, poetics, semiotics, anthropology, and sociology. Among her books, one can mention: Les voies de la pragmatique (Stanford French and Italian Studies, Anma Libri, 1988); Les propos spectacle: Études de pragmatique théâtrale (New York, Peter Lang, 1996); Hacia una nueva deﬁnición de las didascalias (Madrid, ADE, in press), Arhipelagul gustian (The Gusti Archipelago, Bucharest, Editura Enciclopedică, 2016), Constantin Brăiloiu sau despre globalizarea etno-muzicologiei (C.B. or on the globalization of ethno-musicology, Bucharest, Spandugino, 2016).
Of Gravity and Delight – Solomon Marcus
The author evokes Solomon Marcus’ beginnings in structural linguistics, poetics, and semiotics during the 1960s and 1970s, when they worked together in a Bucharest multidisciplinary research group nurtured by Al. Rosetti, Grigore Moisil, Tudor Vianu, and Mihai Pop. Later on, Marcus himself animated the research of his students and joyfully followed the multiple research networks that they in turn had developed.
Smaranda Ecaterina Lalescu is the niece of Traian Lalescu, the Romanian mathematician. Together with Prof. Solomon Marcus, she published in 2013 the volume of Works by Traian Lalescu, at the Publishing House of the Romanian Academy. She has also published the book Traian Lalescu – un nume peste ani (Traian Lalescu – A Timeless Name), at Curtea Veche Publishing, in 2007. She is currently the President of the Traian Lalescu Foundation which offers support for the organization of the Traian Lalescu National competition, hosted every year by a different Romanian university.
A landmark and a certainty
The variety of interests that characterize Professor Solomon Marcus’ academic life are well-known and widely admired. The article proposed here represents an overview of some less known aspects of Mr. Marcus’ inspiring personality. His earlier formative years as well as his passion for education and mathematics are presented in comparison with another Romanian mathematician, Traian Lalescu, whom Marcus admired and whose memory he honored both by example, and by the dissemination of his work. Furthermore, the text argues that without Prof. Solomon Marcus’ valuable contribution, important chapters of Romanian and international mathematics would have remained unwritten.
Monica Marcus started her career as computer scientist while a high school student. She became interested in computer science when she learned that a computer needs to use only two digits (0 and 1) in order to store and process any kind of information. She earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Weizmann Institute, and currently works as an Android applications developer for smart phones.
My uncle, Solomon Marcus
The “youngest” among nieces and nephews has written an evocation of Solomon Marcus as uncle. Even though he was dedicated entirely to his profession as mathematician, Solomon Marcus maintained a close relationship with his family members. He had a steady interest in the life of the first (but not the only) computer scientist in the family.
Solomon Marcus (1925-2016) was a mathematician and semiotician. He authored a great many interdisciplinary studies and books on mathematical analysis, linguistics, semiotics, poetics, anthropology, and philosophy. He published over 50 volumes in Romania, that have been translated into several European languages, and over 400 articles in scientific or specialty journals in Europe, the United States, Canada, South America, Japan, and India. He was elected full member of the Romanian Academy in 2001 and has been recognized as being one of the initiators of mathematical linguistics and mathematical poetics.
The mathematician’s solitude
A few thoughts about the relationship between master and disciple, with references to the author’s own encounter with his younger fellow-mathematician Vasile Ene.
Eminescu – la poésie comme enchantement
About the impact of the Romanian national poet’s creation on the formation as a young student of the mathematician-to-be.
From 20 to 21
The scientist’s thoughts about the literary journal Secolul 20, founded at mid-20th century, that later became Secolul 21, when it passed into the 21st century.
Until the 17th century
A public intervention in which the author tackled the subject of nowadays’ doctorates in general and of the ones in mathematics especially.
The Last Marcus – Interacting with Architects
This rather lengthy piece is a put-together of the slides and notes that the author drew from when he delivered his last public speech, at the “Cervantes” College in Bucharest. It deals primarily with the relationships between mathematics and architecture, with insights into the theories regarding several interactions between the two domains.
MIHAI NADIN’s career combines engineering, mathematics, digital technology, philosophy, semiotics, theory of mind, and anticipatory systems. He holds advanced degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a post-doctoral degree in Philosophy, Logic and the Theory of Science. His publications number hundreds of articles and over 30 books. He has lectured around the world and written extensively on mind, cognition, education, semiotics of the visual, and human-computer and human-technology interaction, and anticipatory computation. In 2004, Nadin accepted the endowed chair offered by the University of Texas at Dallas, where he heads the Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems.
The paths we take in life – sometimes the ones we choose, other times the ones we are forced to follow – document a journey with many meanings. How and when one’s own path intersects with someone else’s is telling of the many questions we carry with us. Solomon Marcus’s path intersected with those of his students, of his colleagues, of his friends and family members. The readers of the account of my own encounters with him for over 60 years will realize why he became an iconic figure in the culture of the country he so much loved. Strength of character, never-weakened optimism, even during challenging times, integrity against the background of boundless curiosity – all these make up the image of a human being that will be acknowledged by all those who experienced knowing him.
Virgil Nemoianu (born 1940) is a Romanian-American essayist, literary critic, and philosopher of culture. He is generally described as a specialist in comparative literature, but this only partially covers the wider range of his activities and accomplishments. His thinking places him at the intersection of Neo-Platonism and Neo-Kantianism, which he turned into an instrument meant to qualify, channel, and tame the asperities, as well as what he regarded as the impatient accelerations and even absurdities of modernity and post-modernity. Nemoianu has written in both English, and Romanian. His essays have been translated into German, Hungarian, Spanish, and other languages. A few of his works are somewhat literary in their structure, specifically a collection of aphorisms and fantastic descriptions (1968), a volume of memoirs (1994), and some travel notes (2006). He has also published (either alone or in collaboration) translations of both poetry and prose.
A Diamond with Multiple Faces
This article was first published in the periodical Limba română in 2015. It states that mathematician Solomon Marcus was a humanist as well as a philosopher and that he possessed a gift of pedagogy.
Basarab NICOLESCU is an honorary theoretical physicist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, France, a professor at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, a professor extraordinary at the School of Public Leadership of the Stellenbosch University in South Africa, a member of the Romanian Academy. He is the founding president of the International Center for Transdisciplinary Research and Studies (CIRET), a non-profit organization (with 168 members from 29 countries), which has a website at: http://ciret-transdisciplinarity.org/. He is the founder and director of the “Transdisciplinarity Series” at the Éditions Rocher in Monaco, of the “Romanians in Paris” series at the Éditions Oxus in Paris, and of the “Science and Religion” and “Science, Spirituality, and Society” series at the Curtea Veche Publishing House in Bucharest, Romania. He is the editor-in-chief of the Transdisciplinary Journal of Engineering & Science in Texas, USA.
University, rigor, and an infinite openness
Several moments are being brought forth, in which the author’s and Solomon Marcus’ trajectories intersected, in Romania and abroad, after Basarab Nicolescu settled in Paris, France, in 1968. Excerpts from the correspondence between the two men of science, the physicist and the mathematician, are being evoked, as are instances of their families’ gathering together and experiencing an intellectual friendship.
GHEORGHE PĂUN is a member of the Romanian Academy. He was a student of Solomon Marcus, who directed his PhD thesis, as well as a close collaborator. He is the initiator of membrane computing (http://pppage.psystems.eu), a domain to which Solomon Marcus contributed.
Personal recollections of a four-decades student and collaborator, together with some thoughts on Solomon Marcus’ contributions to computer science and his general scientific and cultural influence.
ŞTEFAN C. POPA is a researcher at the Architectural Association in London. He studied in Bucharest, Paris, and Barcelona before joining the Architectural Association. After graduating from the Vallès School of Architecture in Barcelona in 2009, he was awarded the Caja de los Arquitectos scholarship and started practicing architecture as a design team member of the Foster + Partner Madrid office. His interest in the theory of architecture in relation to the practice of architecture led him to pursue the History and Critical Thinking master degree at the Architectural Association in 2014. After graduating from the Programme, he took part in various competition and academic juries in the US, the UK, and in Egypt. His current PhD research at the Architectural Association, on the interactions of the multiple agencies involved in the organization of the Winter Olympic Games held in Lillehammer in 1994, aims at highlighting the ways in which design-led practices can become defining factors in the field of critical ecology.
Artiﬁcial, Natural, Culture
This paper attempts to highlight a few relevant aspects of the work of prof. Solomon Marcus to the field of architectural theory. By focusing on the distinctions between the categories of artificial, natural, and culture, this brief contribution shows that he placed architecture at the centre of the relationship between human beings and their environment. The paper is based on extracts from the didactic presentation “Interacting with architects” he delivered at the request of the Romanian Architecture Union on December 8, 2015, as well as on evidence, such as selections from the personal e-mail exchange, largely a consequence of requests for feedback on issues related to my personal research interests.
ANDREA SGARRO is full professor of Informatics and of its mathematical foundations at the University of Trieste, Italy. His main interests are Information Theory, Cryptography, Fuzzy Logic, and Computational Linguistics. He actively cooperates with the Human Language Technologies Research Center at the University of Bucharest. He has always been quite active in the popularization of science; he was the first to introduce the new cryptography to an Italian-speaking audience. He is responsible for the Scientific Section of the Circolo della Cultura e delle Arti di Trieste.
My Life-long Friendship with a Master
When still a young student in Italy, the author was introduced to Solomon Marcus: he understood better and better how lucky he had been in knowing such a master, as time went on. Solomon Marcus had an unparalleled talent of making people see how beautiful and pervasive mathematics can be – and of making them appreciate how precious and meaningful his friendship was.
Lavinia Spandonide is the manager of the Spandugino publishing house, which has been devoting itself since 2008, the year it was founded, to the publication of works that follow three main objectives: to recover memory, to create and institute a mentorship, and to cultivate dialogue. Among the several series it has launched so far, “Distinguo” holds a central place not only through its declared purpose to bring to light the richness of meaning of the various spiritual spaces, but also through the authors who have been published under this sign, among which Solomon Marcus, C.D. Zeletin, Mihai Zamfir, and Mihai Dinu. Other editorial projects that stand out through the high values and the genuine models of critical thinking they bring forth include Virgil Nemoianu (with six volumes already published) and the works due to well-known professors, such as Mircea Anghelescu (Mistificţiuni – Mystifictions), Mihai Nadin (Civilizaţia analfabetismului – The Civilisation of Illiteracy), or Sanda Golopenţia, whose book of studies on the exile is under preparation to be published.
Marcus in the Fairies’ Clearing
In this article, I set about to create a faithful representation of Solomon Marcus’ spirit overflowing with brilliant ideas, by recalling some of my own encounters with him, since the first, going back to the summer of 2005, up to those in which, as a publisher, I prepared for print and issued the series of volumes entitled Răni deschise (Open Wounds), that he authored. This trajectory, filled with events, emotions, and discoveries, initially undertaken while having in mind the solidarity of ideas, finally takes the shape of a lesson of gratitude, that Solomon Marcus meant to deliver to us: life is a performance and, as such, proposes a contemplation that draws on our intact capacity of wondering.
IONEL URDEA MARCUS, PhD, is a physicist and electronics engineer, specialized in measurement science, who worked closely with Academician Solomon Marcus in preparing many of his presentations for various occasions.
The Tailor from Back and His Children
An insider’s look into the becoming of Academician Solomon Marcus based on deciphering the novel The Tailor from Back by Marius Mircu (one of Solomon Marcus’ brothers), whose central character is largely modelled on the figure of the author’s father, who was indeed a tailor in the town of Bacău, in Eastern Romania. An illustrative fragment from that novel is presented, as it brings some light not only on the emergence of the famous mathematician and academician from a modest struggling family in a very difficult period in the history of the country, but also on Solomon Marcus’ ability to link mathematics with linguistics, literature, and other unlikely domains, as well as his profound understanding of the educational process and of the needs of the younger generations.
AUREL VAINER has been holding a PhD in Economics since 1966. He was born in a Jewish family in Ștefănești, Botoșani County. For 28 years, he has worked as a researcher in economics. As of 2004, he has been working at the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania – the Mosaic Faith (FEDROM). He was a member of the Romanian Parliament for twelve years and has been the President of FEDROM since 2005. Aurel Vainer is an Honorary Member of the Academy of Scientists and a Doctor Honoris Causa of the “Titu Maiorescu” University. He is a Commander of the Star of Romania and a Knight of the Legion of Honor of the French Republic.
Solomon Marcus, or Speaking of Human Values
In my address during the funeral ceremony at the Filantropia Jewish cemetery of Bucharest, I said that “I learned from him not only mathematics, but especially a set of human values that he upheld and promoted with diligence.” Solomon Marcus added value to the world and promoted values during his scientific career, through his entire work. He loved people, always supporting those for whom he wanted the best possible professional and personal future. Solomon Marcus was a man of dialogue. Most of all, he was a great supporter of an extended dialogue between sciences, having developed a new scientific discipline: mathematical linguistics. For the Jews living in Romania today, Academician Solomon Marcus has always been a shining example of a man who was loyal to Romania, his country of birth, as well as to the ancient multi-millennial people he was part of. He was a great example of moral integrity for us all.
Ionel Valentin Vlad (born 1943) is a Romanian engineer and physicist, who was elected president of the Romanian Academy in 2014.
This text is a fragment from a laudatio delivered by the author with reference to the disappearance of his fellow member of the Romanian Academy, Solomon Marcus.